By Lalah Landers, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse Manager
So many happy sights and sounds signal the fall season — colorful leaves, cozy sweaters, the kickoff of football, pumpkin spice lattes, and the like. With all of this also comes flu season 2014. But, no need to worry, with a little effort on your part you can help keep yourself, your colleagues, families, and patients protected.
Medical Solutions requires that all Travelers read, complete, and submit our Flu Screening Form by October 15, 2014.
If you have a copy of your 2014-2015 vaccine (received August 2014 or later) we can alternately accept that in place of the Flu Screening Form.
In addition to allowing you to easily communicate your vaccination status, the Flu Screening Form offers some important facts regarding influenza, so be sure to check that out. Here are some more important points regarding flu season 2014:
- Some facilities may have specific flu requirements. In that case, Medical Solutions will send you a separate email detailing that information.
- You have options for obtaining your flu vaccine. You can check to see if your current facility offers a free flu clinic for employees, visit a local chain pharmacy such as Walgreens or CVS, or visit your primary care provider.
- Most insurance providers cover the cost of your flu vaccination at 100 percent. If your vaccination is not covered, Medical Solutions will reimburse you up to $42, with documentation and a receipt. If you are having trouble locating a flu vaccination site, just let your Career Consultant know. He or she is always here to help you with this or any other questions.
- What about the flu mist? Click here to view the latest CDC guidelines for 2014-2015 flu vaccination. You’ll notice in the section on who should not be vaccinated with the nasal spray flu vaccine, it does indicate “People who care for severely immunocompromised persons who require a protective environment (or otherwise avoid contact with those persons for 7 days after getting the nasal spray vaccine).”
Essentially, this means that healthcare workers do fall into this category of those who should not get vaccinated via flu mist, as they often care for immunocompromised patients. However, because the flu mist is a live attenuated virus, you could still get vaccinated with the mist if you were able to wait seven days afterwards to care for patients. This could be an option for you if you’re in between travel assignments, for example.
In the end, a little preparation on your part goes a long way towards protecting yourself and those around you, and in stopping the spread of influenza. We appreciate your efforts — thank you, and we hope you enjoy a happy, healthy fall season.